Another Birthday on the Cape

I spent my birthday on Cape Cod for the third year in a row. This year’s locale was Falmouth. We had one beautiful day and one crappy day weather-wise. Allen and I spent the beautiful day exploring the art exhibits and grounds of Highfield Hall and Gardens. I love touring historic homes and grounds, so I was so pleased that the community rallied and raised millions of dollars to keep this estate safe from bulldozers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we walked to a neighborhood beach and sat for a while. I wanted to catch the sunset and a lighthouse at the same time, so we drove along winding roads to Nobska Light. We watched the sunset from a spot across the street from lighthouse that overlooks Vineyard Sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It rained on my birthday, so we took the opportunity to visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They are small institutions but interesting nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a lovely Italian dinner and then drove to a nearby beach in hopes of seeing another sunset. All we saw was fog. But fog is pretty in its own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way out of town, we stopped at Coonamessett Farm because I had read there were farm animals there. Alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, oh, yes! I also picked some fresh lettuce to take home with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty-eight hours of a quintessential New England vacation. A happy birthday indeed.

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Sea Turtles

I visited a friend in West Palm Beach, FL, last month, and we went to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, an animal hospital for injured sea turtles.

The turtles were massive and adorable. Many of them were there because they had gotten tangled in boat equipment or been attacked by sharks. We saw one turtle being moved from the hospital to a tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a museum section that featured information about the sea turtles. I had no idea that only one out of thousands of sea turtle babies make it to adulthood.

This is a super-cool nonprofit and I’m so glad that I was able to visit it.

 

If Cats Spoke English

My cat Olive is sick. One day a few weeks ago, I noticed that her back legs were weak and she was sometimes sliding or walking bow-legged. There were no other signs that she was in pain. I thought that she might have diabetes, since that’s a common disease among older cats.

Well, her bloodwork came back fine, so the next step was to see a neurologist. The neurologist examined her and came to the conclusion that something is probably wrong with her spine; maybe a tumor is pressing on it.

But I’ll never know what is wrong with her, because it costs thousands of dollars to have an MRI done. I feel like a bad mom, but I don’t have that kind of money. What makes this decision a little less distressing are the facts that she is 17 years old and has lived a healthy life up until now. So, for now, I am giving her some medication that will help decrease inflammation.

She is acting normally otherwise, but I do wonder if she is in any pain. Cats are great at masking pain (an evolutionary trait). If only she spoke English, she could respond to my query, “What is your level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced.”

I’ve had Olive for almost her entire life. She’s a complicated girl (read: semi-feral and engages in unprovoked attacks), but she has been the best companion she could be. She’s like the family member who is sometimes a thorn in your side, but you love them anyway.

I’m enjoying every day I have left with her before she crosses the rainbow bridge.

cat sitting on counter at the vet

Olive at a vet appointment

Bearded Dragons and Baking Bread

You know you’re too busy when you’re still reporting on things that you checked off the list in February…

My friend Abby and I intended to ride a zipline set up in a Boston park by a Kissimmee, Florida, tourist organization one February weekend. But when I arrived 15 minutes before it opened and the wait was already two hours, we settled for having our photo taken with a baby alligator and holding a lizard called a bearded dragon. I pleaded with the handler to refrain from putting a large snake around my neck. (However, the snake was surreptitiously slipped around Abby’s neck.)

holding a bearded dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was expecting the bearded dragon to be solid and rough, but it had a very soft underbelly. It was cute for a lizard.

And with no segue…I baked zucchini bread for the first time. My mom baked it once in a while when I was young so I feel nostalgic whenever I buy it at a cafe. I found her recipe for zucchini muffins (not bread, curiously) and spent a Sunday afternoon grating zucchini.

grated zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out SO GOOD. I’m adding it to my baking rotation now.

zucchini bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll be hearing from me again soon as I attempt to make up for lost time…

 

 

No Snow, No Problem

A couple of months ago, my friend Cindy asked if I would be interested in going dog sledding. I was unaware that such an activity existed in New England.

Obviously, I said yes. And that is how I found myself hanging out with 4 mushers and 24 huskies at a campground in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, a few weeks ago.

One of the teams

One of the teams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose to go on a one-hour tour with Valley Snow Dogz. The company is owned by Lidia, a lovely woman from Manchester, England. Her lovely husband, Richard, helps out and was quite the adventure photographer on the day of our tour. Kim and Kelly are lovely twin sisters who also help give the tours.

Before we started the tour, we were introduced to the three teams of eight dogs. The dogs—all Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Huskies—were beautiful and SO sweet and gentle. Some even liked to give hugs.

There was little to no snow on the ground, so instead of sledding, we sat on the back of ATVs for our tour. The dogs were hooked up to the front of the ATVs.

IMG_0979

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we met them, they didn’t make a peep, but as soon as they started getting hooked up, one by one, they started barking in an excited chorus. Luckily it was a sunny day and the temperature wasn’t terribly cold. We took all kinds of windy paths in the campground. The “musher” would give commands when she wanted the team to turn left or right. Sometimes they were confused, but one of the “leader” dogs eventually got it right and led us in the right direction.

I expressed my surprise at how hard the dogs were working, but Lidia assured me that this is what they are bred for. They thrive in temperatures below freezing and heat is released through their paws, so they never get too cold.

Action shot of Kim and me (courtesy of Richard Dale-Mesaros)

Action shot of Kim and me (courtesy of Richard Dale-Mesaros)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the tour, we said our farewells to the dogs and chatted with the mushers a bit. Their enthusiasm and passion for their work was a joy to witness, and I found it inspiring. Next year, I hope to try dog sledding

Cindy gets a kiss from a friend

Cindy gets a kiss from a friend

 

 

 

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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